How I Made It – Siyakudumisa Mpokeli

First Young Professional – How I Made It

Siyakudumisa Mpokeli1

    1. Where and when was Siyakudumisa Mpokeli born?
      • I was born in Ngqeleni from a location called Maqebevu in Eastern Cape on the 11th of February 1991.
    2. What were your childhoods dreams a young girl?
      • I wanted to be a doctor merely because of the DR title; little did I know that you can obtain a doctorate from any other field of your choice. When I was in high school, that’s when I discovered my love for chemical reactions.
    3. What drove you and kept you focused,motivated during your High School years?
      • I was studying in a boarding school and had rules to obey, so I can say my obedience of the rules and to whatever my grandmother told me kept me focused.
    4. What was your favourite and least enjoyable High school subject?
      • I enjoyed mathematics, biology and physical science. Geography was the least enjoyable subject, for some reasons it bored me sometimes.

Siyakudumisa Mpokeli2

  1. Any teacher or community leader that inspired you to believe in yourself?
    • My maternal grandmother believed in me and she told me that I can be anything I want in life.
  2. At what age did you decide to choose to follow your career and what made you make that decision?
    • Ever since I started schooling I’ve always wanted to be the best in my class, so I always spend time and energy in my school work. That continued till I was in tertiary, even today I always want to be the best in everything I do. .
  3. How did you finance your tertiary studies and what challenges you faced as a young student far from home?
    • In the beginning of the semester my grandmother took care of the registration fees, end January same year I received a call from Mr Bersan Lesch from Department of Science and Technology letting me know that I have been awarded a bursary to study in any university of my choice. The bursary included all the fees, books and even the pocket money. They paid all my fees and when I finish my National Diploma they awarded me another bursary for Btech as I was one of the best students in their programme.
  4. How important was family,friends and self-motivation at High school,university and at the beginning of your career?
    • Support structure is what you need most when you are on the journey of discovering yourself. We all make poor decisions now and again and we need family and friend to assist us to get through those. My family is my rock, my friends were more like my source of entertainment, laughing about anything and everything, and we motivated each other to do well. Self-motivation kept me going, its good keeping in your mind what you want all the time. I believe in God and that He wants all of us to use the talent He gave us to the best of our ability and want us to succeed in all that we do.
  5. What will you advise a young ,confused and demotivated young person to achieve his/her goals?
    • As I said we are all God’s creation and He has a purpose for us all. We all PASS through different stages in life, I lost my parents at a very young age and survived with my grandmother and my siblings, there were times where things were very bad, when there was no money to buy anything to eat, where we have to borrow from neighbors what we had to eat, times where we had to cut down on eating times, from eating three times a day to eating two times. But as I said it was just a STAGE I had to PASS TRHOUGH. Your challenges might not be the same as mine but they will all pass like mine passed. Never give up on your own happiness, and never lose hope because of temporary circumstances, do not look at your current circumstances but look at what you will have when all this is over, keep your eyes on the end product not on the process to produce the product. IN LIFE THERE IS TIME FOR EVERYTHING NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. When you fall, get up and dust yourself and carry on.
  6. What are you currently doing (career-wise and academically) and your future plans?
    • I’m currently working at Eskom as an Engineering Technician, planning to continue with my studies at Wits if all goes well next year. As for the future I would like to do something that will assist or encourage young people to make the best of their abilities.

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